Coliseo Roberto Clemente, San Juan, Puerto Rico – Mikey Garcia (28-0, 24KOs) stopped Bernabe Concepcion (29-6-1, 15KOs) in the seventh round to retain the NABO featherweight title.

A clash of styles in the first three rounds. Concepcion, usually an aggressive fighter, switched things up and started pure boxing match with Garcia. In the fourth, Concepcion was staying defense to avoid the big shots of an incoming Garcia, and tried to reply with counters. Garcia was using a heavy jab and trying to break the strong guard of Concepcion. By the sixth, Garcia started picking up the pace with punches to the body and head.

In the seventh, a two-punch combination sent Concepcion down for count. Garcia was stalking in a calm manner by working the head and body of Concepcion against the ropes to force the stoppage at 2:27.

Concepción and García faced off today. Hard-hitting Filipino Bernabé “Abe” Concepción (29-5-1, 15 KO’s), a boxer managed by fellow Filipino Manny Pacquiao, will have the golden opportunity to challenge world ranked undefeated featherweight Miguel Angel “Mikey” García (27-0, 23 KO’s) for the prestigious WBO North American Boxing Organization (NABO) and North American Boxing Federation (NABF) featherweight titles this coming Saturday at the legendary Coliseo Roberto Clemente this Saturday in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Hailing from Virac, the capital city of the island province of Catanduanes in the Bicol Region in Luzon, Bernabe Concepcion, 24, comes from a very tough narrow split decision victory over California’s Aaron Garcia (10-3-2, 2KOs) last October at the San Manuel Indian Casino in Highland, California, a combat in which Aaron Garcia suffered a cut in his left eyebrow from accidental headclash with the Filipino.

Bernabé Concepción, a member of the Iglesia Ni Cristo, is mainly remembered for his second round KO lost to Juanma Lopez in Puerto Rico and for being disqualified in his WBO world title fight against then champion american Steven Luevano.

In that fight in which Abe Concepcion intentionally hit Steven Luevano with a violent right hook way after the sound bell that ended round seven. American referee Mr. Jay Nady disqualified Conception on the spot.

Meanwhile, tough opponent Mexican-American Miguel “Mickey” García, 24, the heavy handed figher from Oxnard, California is the promising current #1 featherweight by the WBA, #2 by the WBC and # 3 by the WBO.

It’s probable that that the winner of the Mikey Garcia vs Bernabe Concepcion clash would challenge the winner of the Juanma Lopez vs Orlando Salido fight for the WBO featherweight world title.

Mickey Garcia is a younger brother of former world champion Roberto Garcia.

Nowadays, Roberto García is the hugely successful trainer of some of the world’s top fighters in coming high profile bouts like “The filipino Flash” Nonito Donaire, Antonio Margarito, Joan Guzman and Brandon “BamBam” Rios.

Both Bernabe Concepcion and Mickey Garcia have promotional agreements with Top Rank. And fellow featherweight fighter Boricua star Juanma Lopez, fighting in the main event, is also promoted by Hall-of-famer legendary promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank.

Here are Mikey and Bernabe’s toughts during todays presscon:

Bernabe Concepcion: “I’m excited for fight night on Saturday against Garcia. I came to Puerto Rico once before (in July 2010 to fight Juanma Lopez). Thanks to the promoter (Top Rank) and all the fans for having me back, but I hope for a different result this time.”

Mikey Garcia: “My fight with Bernabe Concepcion is a tough fight. It’s a dangerous fight and it means everything to me. If I want my world title shot, I need to win. There has been talk about me fighting the winner of Lopez and Salido. I want my chance. I hope to fight the winner of Saturday night’s fight for the belt before the end of the year.”


By Carlos Costa